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Headlines for Friday, August 1, 2014


Wolf Missed Paying Kansas Income Taxes in 2000

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A spokesman for U.S. Senate challenger Milton Wolf has acknowledged he initially failed to pay Kansas income taxes in 2000, resulting in a state warrant before the bill was paid off. Incumbent U.S. Senator Pat Roberts's campaign raised the issue in a campaign mailer this week, just days before Tuesday's primary. Wolf campaign spokesman Ben Hartman on Friday said Wolf failed to pay $2,135 in taxes because he was working for his uncle's medical products company in Texas, and it didn't withhold taxes after Wolf moved to Kansas. A warrant to pay the bill was issued in 2002, and Hartman said Wolf and his wife took extra jobs to pay it off in 2003. Hartman says attention to the case shows Roberts is desperate. Roberts spokesman Leroy Towns said voters should know.


Jenkins Faces Tea Party Challenger in Kansas 2nd

OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas congresswoman Lynn Jenkins faces a Republican primary tea party challenger who accuses her voting to allow the indefinite detention of American citizens. Joshua Joel Tucker, of Pittsburg, also said Friday that the House's GOP leaders aren't doing enough to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama. Jenkins is seeking her fourth, two-year term representing the 2nd District of eastern Kansas. The primary is Tuesday, and the winner will face Democrat and Lawrence attorney Margie Wakefield in the November election. The congresswoman defends her vote for 2011 legislation authorizing the military detention of terrorism suspects, saying Tucker and other critics are wrong in contending it allows U.S. citizens to be held indefinitely. Campaign manager Lee Modesitt says Jenkins is working hard to make sure Kansans' voices are heard.


PAC Says Kansas Farmers Funding Huelskamp Attacks

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A political action committee that has spent more than $260,000 on ads criticizing Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp says all the money is coming from concerned Kansas farmers. Now or Never spokesman Tyler Harber said in an emailed statement Friday that no Washington lobbyists or special interest groups have been involved in its efforts in the state's 1st Congressional District. The Republican congressman faces a primary challenge Tuesday from Clyde farmer Alan LaPolice. Huelskamp said Friday he has written to the U.S. House clerk requesting an investigation of the PAC. He wants it prosecuted for using the House seal on a flier criticizing him for being removed from the House Agriculture Committee. The PAC says Huelskamp's complaint shows his disconnection from Kansas voters and the needs of his constituents.


Kansas Revenues in July Beat Expectations by $1.6M

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas collected $1.6 million more in taxes than anticipated in July, breaking a streak of monthly shortfalls in collections. The Department of Revenue reported Thursday the state took in almost $409 million in taxes in July, when the state's official fiscal forecast predicted revenues of $407 million. The July surplus was only four-tenths of 1 percent, but it was a sharp break from collections in April, May and June, which fell a total of $334 million short of expectations. Those shortfalls sparked an intense debate about whether the state underestimated the effects of personal income tax cuts enacted at Republican Governor Sam Brownback's urging in 2012 and 2013. Brownback's administration said the shortfalls were due to investors reacting to uncertainty about federal tax policies.


Kobach Predicts 22% Turnout in Kansas Primary

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The top election official in Kansas is predicting 22 percent of registered voters will participate in next week's primary election. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says of the more than 1.7 million registered Kansas voters, he expects more than 381,000 will cast ballots in the August 5 primary. Kobach says turnout was about 23.2 percent in the state's 2012 primary. Kobach says the predicted turnout for next week is based on recent primary voting history, early voting totals in the current primary and lack of a statewide get-out-the-vote operation. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that voter turnout in Wichita and other areas of the 4th Congressional District could approach 27 percent because of the contest between U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo and Republican challenger Todd Tiahrt.


Brownback Names 3 to Kansas Board of Regents

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback has named a former Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state's higher education system. Brownback on Friday announced the appointments of former state Representative Bill Feuerborn of Garnett, Joseph Bain of Goodland and Zoe Forrester Newton of Sedan to the Board of Regents. Feuerborn served in the House from 1995 through 2002. The three will serve through June 2018. Their appointments require state Senate confirmation. The nine-member board oversees state universities, community colleges and technical colleges. The state spends almost $2.6 billion annually on higher education. The terms of three regents expired at the end of June. They were Mildred Edwards of Wichita, former state Senate Majority Leader Tim Emert of Independence and former state Rep. Ed McKechnie of Arcadia.


Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Hollister Murder Conviction

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a man who died while serving time for the 2009 death of a woman. The court on Friday ruled on the conviction of Roger Hollister, who died in 2013 at the El Dorado Correctional Facility where he was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was 61. Hollister was convicted in the death of 58-year-old Patricia Kimmi of rural Horton. She disappeared in November 2009 and her remains were found in May 2010. The Supreme Court ruled that although the death of a criminal defendant does not end the appeals process, it found evidence in the case was convincing enough to find Hollister guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


KBI Completes Investigation into McPherson Death

MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has completed its report into the death of a 56-year-old Kanopolis man shot by McPherson police. The McPherson Sentinel reports the KBI was looking into the June 4 death of Timothy Lloyd, who was unarmed when police say he charged at an officer. Authorities said when officers were called to investigate a hit-and-run accident in the central Kansas community, the suspect vehicle was gone. Officers eventually found Lloyd. Police say he charged at one officer, who fired several shots. Lloyd was pronounced dead at a McPherson hospital. The KBI's report has been sent to McPherson County Attorney David Page, who says he's waiting for more evidence before making a decision on the case.


Emporia Woman Convicted of Misusing Funds

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — A 56-year-old Emporia woman accused of misusing money that belonged to her 93-year-old mother-in-law has been convicted of mistreating a dependent adult. The office of the Kansas attorney general said in a release that Dalene Miller also was found guilty Thursday of conspiring to mistreat a dependent adult. Her trial in Lyon County lasted four days. The attorney general says Miller was accused of misusing her mother-in-law's money of her mother-in-law from 2011 to 2012 while Miller was acting as the older woman's trustee. Miller was accused of buying a house, farm and a truck while her mother-in-law's expenses went unpaid. Sentencing is scheduled for September 26.

Report: Midwest Economic Index Slumped in July

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains states has slumped after hitting a three-year high a month earlier. A report issued Friday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped more than 3½ percentage points in July, to 57.0. The index had risen slightly in June, to 60.6. Looking six months ahead, the business confidence portion of the overall index also declined. It hit 60.0 last month, compared with 63.6 in June. The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers at Creighton University say any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.


Kansas Church Leaders Question Kobach Comment on Voter ID

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Some Kansas church leaders are upset over a remark by Secretary of State Kris Kobach concerning the state's voter photo identification law. Kobach said during an interview on Topeka radio station WIBW this week he didn't know of any churches that oppose the voter ID law. He told The Wichita Eagle some individual pastors disagree with the law, but to say entire churches are against it he would put the word "church" in quotation marks. Some local pastors question whether the secretary of state has talked to any black churches. Carieta Cain Grizzel, pastor at Grant Chapel African-American Episcopal Church in Wichita, says the African Methodist Episcopal Church objects to voter ID laws in all states.


Democrat Self-Funding Bid for US Senate in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Democratic candidate Patrick Wiesner is running for the U.S. Senate in Kansas almost completely on his own dime. Wiesner is a Lawrence attorney, and a finance report filed by his campaign shows that he's made $48,000 in personal loans to his campaign. He's also contributed another $2,000 to his bid. He's reported only $601 in other contributions. Through July 16, he spent about $37,000. Wiesner also ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, receiving 10 percent of the vote in the primary that year. In Tuesday's primary, Wiesner faces Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor. Taylor has raised about $141,000 for his campaign since entering the race in November, including about $13,500 since the beginning of July. His campaign reported spending more than $123,000 through July 16.


Fluoride Question on November Ballot in Salina

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Voters in central Kansas will decide in November whether to allow their community to continue adding fluoride to the local water supply after a petition received enough signatures to bring the issue to a vote. Saline County Clerk Don Merriman confirmed Thursday there were enough verified signatures to put the question of whether to rescind Salina's water fluoridation ordinance on the ballot. The petition was presented by Salina Cares, an organization concerned about the risks of fluoride in the public water supply. Supporters say the issue isn't as much about whether fluoride in the water is healthy as it is about giving residents the freedom to choose what substances they put into their bodies. The city has been adding fluoride to the water since 1968.


Girl, 13, Found Stabbed to Death in Saline County

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 13-year-old girl has been found stabbed to death at a home in central Kansas. Saline County Sheriff Glen Kochanowski told The Salina Journal that the girl was found stabbed to death at a home in northwest Saline County early Friday. He says officers were notified about 1:45 am and found the girl's body when they arrived. They identified the victim as Galazia Niehaus. Kochanowski says the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is helping the sheriff's office with the investigation. He declined to say if a suspect is in custody.


Official: Leavenworth Police Didn't Violate Law

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — The Leavenworth County attorney says police officers who shot at a suspect who had abducted a 5-year-old girl did not violate any laws. The Kansas City Star reports that County Attorney Todd Thompson didn't say Friday if it was police gunfire that hit the child, who died in the July 18 incident. Authorities haven't said how the child died. Authorities have said two officers fired at the suspect, Marcas McGowan, after he led police on a chase with the child, Cadence Harris, and pointed a gun at police. McGowan is charged with felony murder and other charges in the child's death. The charges allege McGowan is responsible for the death because it occurred while he was fleeing police and endangering a child. McGowan's next court hearing is September 10.


Suspect Named in Death of Lawrence Woman

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified a Topeka jail inmate as a suspect in the weekend killing of a 56-year-old Lawrence woman. Christine Kaplan was found dead Saturday at her home. An autopsy determined the death was a homicide, but the cause has not been made public. Police said Thursday that 38-year-old Angelica Marie Kulp, of Lawrence, is charged in an arrest warrant with first-degree murder. Investigators located and interviewed Kulp at the Shawnee County Jail, where The Topeka Capital-Journal reports she was booked late Wednesday on unrelated charges of theft and burglary. Lawrence police Sergeant Trent McKinley says Kulp was acquainted with Kaplan and may have stayed at her home. Neighbors have said Kaplan was known to take in people who needed a place to stay.


Prosecutor: Foster Dad in Hot Car Death Was High

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Kansas foster father was high on marijuana when he left a 10-month-old girl in a hot car, where she died. The details of the case surfaced during a bond hearing Friday for Seth Jackson. He's charged with first-degree murder in the July 24 death. Police say the girl was in the sweltering car for more than two hours in Wichita, where temperatures were 90 degrees. KWCH reported that Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett cited the marijuana use in court as the reason for raising Jackson's bond to $250,000. Bennett told the court Jackson had gone to his drug dealer's house and bought marijuana. Prosecutors believe he then intended to smoke marijuana. But they have said there's nothing to indicate the girl's death was intentional.


Elderly Dog That Walked 30 Miles Back Home Adopted

SEDAN, Kan. (AP) — An aging Labrador Retriever who walked 30 miles back to a Kansas family that didn't want her has found a home with an heiress in Florida. Kelsey Loyd, with the Chautauqua County Animal Shelter in southern Kansas, says the dog, named Lady, was adopted twice, but the first family said the old dog didn't get along with other pets. A second family adopted her 30 miles away, but Lady escaped and walked back to her previous home. KWCH-TV reports that Lady's life changed recently when Helen Rich saw her story on Facebook. Rich is an heiress to the Wrigley gum company fortune and owns an animal shelter in Florida. She sent an assistant to Kansas in a private jet to pick up Lady. The dog arrived in Tampa late Thursday.



Topeka Police Work to Reduce Calls from Apartments

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Topeka police want to reduce the high volume of calls from a downtown apartment complex that residents have nicknamed the "Green Monster." The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Thursday that law enforcement has been meeting with the owner of St. Gregory Suites. The green-painted complex accounted for 628 calls for police or fire service last year. That dwarfed the next highest complex, where people made 236 calls. Topeka Police Maj. Kris Kramer says the apartments are a drain on resources. He says calls include homicides, dog complaints and people getting stuck in elevators. Kramer says the types of calls aren't unique, but the volume is. A new apartment manager says he's working to evict troublesome tenants and install security cameras.


Kansas City Bus Riders Get Free Wi-Fi

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Bus riders in Kansas City now have access to free Wi-Fi. The Kansas City Star reports the free Internet connection is offered at the 47th Street Transit Center. The newspaper on Thursday reported that the center is the first in the metropolitan area to offer free Wi-Fi. Local officials say Sprint has agreed to provide the service at no cost for at least a year. The commitment will be re-evaluated at a later date. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority previously announced free Wi-Fi on all Max busses and 22 other Metro buses. 


Police: Kansas Man Recovering After Train Accident

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) — Police say a Kansas man is OK after being struck by a train. KMBC-TV reports the man was hit Thursday evening in Lenexa. Authorities have not released his name. Police spokesman Dan Friesen says the man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Friesen called the collision an accident. It's unclear what type of train was involved or how the man was hit.


Nearly $640K for Topeka Inmate Education

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is getting nearly $640,000 in federal funds for a technical training program for inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility. The Justice Department grant was awarded to the Kansas Department of Commerce. The Kansas agency says the grant will fund Certified Production Training courses at Washburn Institute of Technology. The department says the classes work to prepare inmates for jobs when they're released from prison. The Commerce Department says it's working with the state Department of Corrections and Washburn University in administering the grant.


Kansas Banks Warn of Credit Card Scam

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — Bank officials and police in northeast Kansas are cautioning citizens about what appears to be a credit card scam. Atchison Police Chief Mike Wilson tells radio station KAIR the scam has appeared numerous times recently in that city and in neighboring Brown County. Authorities say bank customers receive a recorded phone call saying their credit card has been deactivated. The recording tells customers they can reactivate the card by providing the 16-digit card number, the PIN number and, in some cases, their Social Security number. Wilson says that such scams can be very hard to investigate. He says the calls usually originate outside the area, possibly from a foreign country. The chief advises hanging up immediately on any such call.


County Weighs Mandatory Electronics Recycling

PRATT, Kan. (AP) — Officials in a south-central Kansas county are considering whether to require mandatory recycling of old computers and other electronic devices. The Pratt Tribune reports that the Pratt County landfill is approaching its daily 20-ton capacity, with up to 17 tons a day being dumped there. The County Commission this week discussed whether residents should have to take so-called "e-waste" to the county's recycling center, as an alternative to expanding the landfill. Pratt County residents already have the option of leaving electronics at the recycling center without charge. Commissioners noted that it's more convenient for residents to haul all items to the landfill. But Commissioner Gina Borho says even if there's never 100 percent compliance with a recycling rule, it's still worth trying.


Auburn Seeks More Than $200,000 in Lawsuit

AUBURN, Kan. (AP) — The city of Auburn has filed a civil lawsuit against a former city clerk who pleaded guilty to a federal embezzlement charge. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Auburn is seeking more than $200,000 in its civil lawsuit against 61-year-old Alice Riley. Riley pleaded guilty Tuesday to the federal charge and is scheduled to be sentenced October 17. Federal prosecutors said Riley embezzled at least $186,000 from Auburn, where she managed payroll and other accounts as the city clerk for several years. In the civil lawsuit filed July 23 in Shawnee County District Court and served to her Tuesday, the city of Auburn is seeking $196,000, as well as reimbursement in excess of $20,000 for the cost of investigation to determine the amount of the theft.


Moritz Takes Oath to Join Federal Appeals Court

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Former Kansas Supreme Court Justice Nancy Moritz has formally joined the federal appeals court that handles cases from six western and Plains states. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren administered the oath of office to Moritz on Wednesday in Topeka. The Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals says in a news release that Moritz's temporary chambers will be in Lawrence. President Barack Obama nominated Moritz in August 2013. Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate in May. Moritz will fill the vacancy created in 2011 when Judge Deanell Tacha, a Kansan, retired and became dean of the law school at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Her departure gives conservative Republican Governor Sam Brownback his first appointment to the state's highest court.


Kansas Tank Maker Plans Expansion

PARSONS, Kan. (AP) _ A southeast Kansas company that makes storage tanks for customers worldwide is planning a major expansion. The Parsons Sun reports that Tank Connection is adding equipment and employees to expand production by 50 percent. The Parsons-based firm was established 10 years ago with two employees. The addition of 35 workers will bring total employment to more than 400. Tank Connection manufactures shop-welded, field-welded and hybrid storage tanks as well as aluminum dome covers. The company has two plants in Parsons and one each in Baxter Springs, Oswego and Galesburg. Company president Bill Neighbors most of the new equipment will be installed at the Galesburg plant. A third shift will be added there and at the Parsons facilities.


Suspect Charged in Triple-Fatality Crash

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Bond is set at $500,000 for a Wichita man charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed three people. KAKE-TV reports 31-year-old Juan Gandara-Rodel made his first appearance Thursday in Sedgwick County District Court. He's charged with three counts of second-degree murder or three alternative counts of involuntary manslaughter, plus aggravated battery and leaving the scene of an accident. The collision happened around 2 am Sunday in west Wichita. Police say Gandara-Rodel was speeding in an SUV when he ran a red light and struck a car. The collision killed three passengers in the car, identified as 21-year-old Emily Phillips, of McPherson, and Jake Hallacy and Zachery Taylor, both 26 and from Valley Center. The driver and a fourth passenger were injured. Gandara-Rodel did not have a lawyer Thursday.


Kansas City Bans Open Carry of Firearms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City councilmembers have unanimously voted to ban people from openly carrying firearms within city limits. Mayor Sly James has advocated for the prohibition that was voted on Thursday. He says the city doesn't need any more weapons on the streets. The ban takes effect in 10 days. It's unclear how long it will last. The Missouri General Assembly approved a bill prohibiting such bans for permit holders in May. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the bill, but an override session is set for September 10.




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